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Zicco Mkanda hangs up boots, Nelson Kangunje, Dalitso Sailesi in club hunting

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CONTRASTING AMBITIONS—Mkanda

Former Nyasa Big Bullets and Mighty Wanderers striker Zicco Mkanda has announced his retirement from football at the age of 32.

He was among the eight players released by Bullets after the expiry of their respective contracts last month.

Mkanda confirmed in an interview Sunday that it was time to hang up boots.

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“You will never see me playing active football again. I will focus on other roles in the near future,” said Mkanda, who scored nine goals for Bullets in all competitions last season.

He was released alongside Chiukepo Msowoya, Bright Munthali, Nelson Kangunje, Dalitso Sailesi, Chimango Kayira, Sankhani Mkandawire and Pilirani Zonda.

Born on December 17 1990 in Blantyre, Mkanda played for several teams including Uwe Kicks, Ampu Electrical, Super Sport (not related to the South African club) before he joined Escom United Reserve in 2006.

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The following year, he was promoted to the senior team.

At Escom, he also played for one season before joining Ferroviario da Beira in Mozambique, where he played for one season.

But it was at Liga Desportiva where he established himself as one of the best strikers in the Mocambola League after winning the golden boot award with 13 goals in 2014, becoming the first recognised Malawian footballer to have achieved that feat in Mozambique.

At the peak of his career, he made 12 appearances for the Flames including five appearances at the Cosafa Cup and two appearances in the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers in 2017.

Mkanda scored the lone goal for Malawi in a 1-0 win over Zambia in the Cosafa Plate final in 2017.

Meanwhile, Kanjunje and Sailesi have said they are still optimistic of securing deals with local clubs.

Kangunje said he was still weighing options.

“I am not ready to retire. I am still a good player and I will prove critics wrong,” said the former Civil Service United attacker.

Kangunje joined Bullets in 2017 after playing for Costa do Sol in Mozambique.

On the part of Sailesi, he returned to Bullets after terminating his contract with Lusaka Dynamos in 2019.

“I will play for three to four seasons. I still have the energy to play for a top team,” he said.

Both Kangunje and Sailesi struggled for game time last season.

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